Friday, October 1, 2010

Pay it Forward - Learning Something New

As I watched the Peanut falling and getting back up again - tears of joy, sadness and admiration filled my eyes. Strangely enough I was the ONLY parent in the stands that day, and the only one shouting cheers of joy and gasping with both hands covering my mouth as she fell. The Peanut has started ice skating lessons.

Last year my father and I started a tradition (albeit late in the year) of taking her skating during the weekly public skate at the local arena. I had attempted to teach her to skate by myself - but quickly learned that perhaps I wasn't the best one to be teaching her, as I spent a fair amount of ice time on my butt. Skating isn't one of my strong suits - to put it nicely. Somehow in my decades away from the rink my experience had grown tenfold. Reality hit me hard - and I had the bruises on my butt to prove it!

Two people struggling to stay upright on the ice is a rather comical sight. The two of us almost peed our pants laughing so hard!! One kind lady (in her shoes) must have felt our pain and brought us out one of those walker things that the little people use when they are learning to skate. Though to be honest, not sure to whom she was giving it to - me or the Peanut?!!? But being the great parent that I am, I graciously gave it to the Peanut.

After that day, I decided it was wise to get reinforcements, and my dad came with us and hand in hand with the Peanut, we skating around the rink every week.

Fast forward to this year, I decided professional help would be beneficial. And although I too could use the lessons - money being pretty tight, and I being the good parent - her lessons won out. The Peanut was nervous that day, and kept saying she couldn't skate by herself. Despite my reassurance that was what lessons were for - for her to learn to skate, she was remarkably shaken that she would spent most her time on the ground.

As I watched her fall and learn to get up on her own, I was struck at how emotional I was. As I perused the empty stands I wondered where all the other parents were?? My Peanut is growing up. Every step further on the ice without falling, was one step closer to her being independent. Every determined attempt to stand back up on the ice BY HERSELF - just made me well up with pride.

Did I mention she was the only one who couldn't skate forward and backwards by herself? Or the only one that spent time on her butt - bless her little soul :) Obviously the least experienced skater out there (maybe the only one with a parent who couldn't skate), but she didn't give up. She kept getting back up and moving one little foot in front of the next. At the end of class that little triumphant Peanut smile and excited little voice that said "Momma that was the bestest I ever did skate!" said it all.


So being as it is Friday, I would like to challenge you to Pay it Forward by teaching something new to someone else. We all are a wealth of knowledge. We all have a lot more than we realize that we can impart to others. I am asking you to do just that. And you will be amazed at the gratitude you will receive and the pride you will feel as well as to the one whom you have shared your gift.

Have a great weekend....and tell me all about your teaching/learning adventures...

19 comments:

  1. I cannot fathom not being there for your child. It makes me think those parents had children because it was expected of them, then they treated them like trophies collected on a mantel: " see what I produced? It can do this, this and this". No personal heartfelt interaction... It just breaks my heart. You may not have unlimited finances but you have something money can't buy: a heartfelt love for Peanut :) That's "Mom of the year" material in my book!

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  2. I loved the description you gave of the Peanut learning to skate. It's been awhile now, but I can recall feeling the same way when my little one strted to lear to skate/play hockey. I will put my thinking cap on as to what I can Teach it Forward :) Have a great weekend, Cheryl.

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  3. Teach it Forward - Love it!!! Yes, the Peanut is very excited for her second skating lesson :)

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  4. That is a great story Kelly! My girl is at that age, too, and every new thing she does makes me so proud! I've given you an award on my blog, come on over and check it out! Thanks for the great read!

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  5. What a vivid image of growing up as you watched her hang on, stumble, fall, and get back up again! I love those tar bucket things they have for the little ones to go around the ice with. Helps sooo much. Hard to watch from the sidelines as a parent without wincing every now and then. But, I guess we have to let them take a few falls on their own so they can learn. Have a nice weekend!

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  6. Thanks for the award, Claire :) They grow up so fast...and although you want them to be strong and independant and have a mind of their own...it gets a little sad when they aren't your little peanut anymore...

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  7. Oh I felt like i fell down and got back up with her every step of the way, LOL!!! But I did let HER do it, and fought my urges to rush out onto the ice and pick her up and take her hand - or to just give her a big huge hug!!!

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  8. Oh, I don't skate but I so appreciated the story. I use to coach needy kids basketball and watching them learn, to get right; well yes it brings tears to your eyes. I will seek out someone to teach :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  9. What a great thing, teaching those kids, Jules. I am sure they totally appreciated it! Have a great weekend!

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  10. Great story Kelly. I think it is so important to spend time with your children. These days, the problem is that many parents don't - I suppose it's often because both parents have to work to make ends meet. I can't tell you how happy it makes me that my mom was able to be a real 'stay at home mom' when I was growing up. I feel like this significantly impacted how I grew up.

    So my teaching forward is something that happened a few weekends. I encountered my elderly neighbor outside and he started telling me he was sick but no one knew what was wrong. I could tell he was stressed and anxious. We talked for quite some time, and I think that it did him a lot of good to talk to me - an impartial observant. He told me how frustrated he was, and how anxious he was - that he was depressed etc. All I could do was listen and share my thoughts - I was able to relate to a degree. I think that I helped him that day, which makes me happy :-)

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  11. I can't skate, and haven't even tried for a couple of decades. The good news is that it's not genetic - my older girl is a natural, the other has to put in a bit more effort, but both do pretty well with it. The Peanut will do just fine with you in the stands.

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  12. This is a VERY VERY sweet blog.....Your a great mom.

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  13. Thank you, that is VERY kind of you to say :)

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  14. Good to know it isn't genetic - otherwise the Peanut would be in trouble!!!

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  15. I hear you about making ends meet!!! We may not have very much in terms of material things - but I do believe in spending quality time together, especially when she is so young. And my mother as well, was a SAHM, and I believe it made a BIG impact on our lives. Thanx for sharing your story. I think that talking and listening & spending time with people is often the very best way to do something for them. We often forget that is where most connections in this world lay, in the ones shared of human spirit.

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  16. Thanks, Tina. I can only speak for myself, as a parent, and you would have to pull me away kicking and screaming not to watch the Peanut that day (or any other). SHe is such an amazing little creature and I bask in her glow on and off the ice :)

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  17. I can't skate either :( My daughter wanted to take gymnastics... Great post, I help out with a few neighbourhood kids in the way of teaching them some art lessons :)

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  18. What a great way to Teach Forward Suzie. Art is such a wonderful gift to give.

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